GLENDALE — The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region welcomed US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) pledge to bring the Armenian Genocide Resolution to a House vote for passage. The announcement, which came following several months of active advocacy by the Armenian National Committee of America, conveyed the House leader’s promise for continued support by his team in carrying H. Res.398.
At a meeting with Armenian-American community leaders and Congressman James E. Rogan (R-Calif.) Sunday, Speaker Hastert announced his intent to bring H.Res. 398, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, to a floor vote in the United States House of Representatives.
“The ANCA-WR is extremely pleased with Speaker Hastert’s promise to carry the Armenian Genocide Resolution to a vote on the floor of the US House of Representatives,” explained ANCA-WR Chairman Berdj Karapetian. “It is reassuring that the House leadership has committed itself to the mandate of bringing the Genocide Resolution to a successful vote before the projected adjournment of this Congress, on October 6.” said Karapetian.
The ANCA-WR further called on the Armenian-American community to mobilize in support of this effort to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution. Over the next few weeks remaining to the adjournment of the 106th Congress, the ANCA-WR will look to the Armenian American community to actively follow and advocate for the passage of this important piece of legislation.
During a brief meeting with Hastert on Saturday, ANCA-WR Board member Ohannes Boghossian also reiterated the importance of enacting the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
“Congressman Rogan has kept this issue out and moving. With his efforts, we have paved the way. It is our intent to carry it to the floor,” said Speaker Hastert to the group of Armenian-American community leaders. “I voted for this resolution in the 100th Congress, but it is something that hasn’t come back. We are working to move this legislation forward now,” he continued.
The meeting with the community leaders came after Congressman Rogan met twice with Speaker Hastert to call an immediate floor vote on the resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
“I am especially grateful to Speaker Hastert for the amount of time and consideration he has given me both in Washington and here in considering this very important piece of legislation,” stated Congressman Rogan. “The Armenian Genocide is important not just to our district, but really is important in terms of history. As a former history teacher, Speaker Hastert can appreciate our search for the truth,” said Rogan.
The legislation, supported by Congressman Rogan and a bipartisan roster of House Members, specifically calls on the President to provide for appropriate training and materials to all foreign service officers, State Department officials, and other government employees regarding the atrocities committed against the Armenian people during the Genocide. This would be the first official US government recognition of this tragic event.
Senator Charles Poochigian, author of the Armenian Genocide Insurance Bill in the California State Senate, was also present at the meeting. “The suppression of truth is what has kept this issue alive,” he said. “Congressman Rogan and Speaker Hastert are working to make sure that the truth is no longer suppressed,” stated Poochigian.